Calling it the biggest win in his career, an emotional Devin Dixon climbed from his Open Wheel Modified in East Bay Raceway Park’s Victory Lane at the conclusion of the second annual Rusty Dixon Memorial. The 50-lap main was named in honor of his cousin, who was killed in 2007 motorcycle accident.
Devin Dixon was expecting to start on the outside front row, but a frontstretch re-draw relegated him to sixth starting spot. By contrast, Mavrick Varnadore had drawn the number one, which moved him from his sixth starting spot. Varnadore took advantage of the good fortune, grabbing the lead on the second lap after some early race restarts. Varnadore kept his car pinned to the bottom of the track, forcing challengers to the middle of the racing surface. Phillip Cobb was an early challenger, but Cobb soon found himself with the attention of Shane Burrows, Jeff Mathews and Devin Dixon. Dixon came charging from a restart to move to second on lap 19, taking the lead away from Varnadore four laps later. From there, Dixon moved out to a full straightaway lead just seven laps later. He stretched the advantage even more, working masterfully through lapped traffic until a caution was displayed for Roger Crouse’s flat tire. With a lap 39 restart, the field was bunched together, giving challengers new hope. Dixon was quick to extinguish that hope by again pulling away from the field for the victory.
Varnadore held onto second place, ahead of Burrows, Cobb and Bryan Bernhardt. Ivedent Lloyd started the race in 20th, but claimed seventh to earn the Hard Charger prize money.
Nick Hebrank opened the night’s feature action by topping the Outlaw 4 main, sneaking by race leader Brandon Yates with three laps remaining. Yates would finish second, ahead of Jake Hampton.
Nick Brown parked in Victory Lane in the V8 Warrior class, but Raymond Vann later claimed the win when the tech man had his say. Brown had taken the lead from the rear of the field with just a few laps completed. Some good battles were happening mid-pack as Vann fought his way to second, eventually earning the win. Jason Burnside ran strong for the runner-up spot.
David Barwick II got the best of Henry Burnside on lap 11 to take the lead in Street Stocks that would become a victory. Burnside did everything possible to keep Barwick behind him, but there would be no denying Barwick on this day. Burnside claimed second with Justin Rodgers rebounding for third.
The final feature of the night saw the Studio Red Gladiators bring a large field to the green. Heat winner DJ Taylor doubled up by claiming the 15-lap main in a car that had suffered a previous rollover. That’s what you call a great comeback. Some great racing action throughout the field saw position battles up for grabs, but Daniel Bowman never gave up second.
East Bay Raceway Park will resume action on May 5 with Pro Late Models, Q Auto & Injury Sprints, Street Stocks, Gladiators and Micro Sprints. Top finishers from the 2017 Micro Sprint season will be honored at intermission.
Nick Hebrank (7), Brandon Yates (53), Jake Hampton (19), Cecil Martin (15), Mark Moniz (41e), Vernon Hart Jr. (48)
Raymond Vann (32), Jason Burnside (12J), Jeff Weaver (26), Gary Lucas (23), Bill Whitney (9), Jessica Robbins (09), Nate Whitehurst (07), Scott Bane (23B), David Parr (36), Kalen Maynard (2). DQ – Nick Brown (12)
Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds
Second Annual Rusty Dixon Memorial
Devin Dixon (323), Mavrick Varnadore (4), Shane Burrows (70B), Phillip Cobb (03), Bryan Bernhardt (B69), Jeff Mathews (33), Ivedent Lloyd (311), Rich Pratt (78), Michael Stalnaker (78S), Buzzie Reutimann (00), David Pollen Jr. (88), Patrick Vareika (117), Jason Pope (99A), Keven Devrieze (99), Roger Crouse (15), Jamie Carter (15J), Dale Kelley (22), Jerry Bruce (35), Dylan Browning (6), Austin Sanders (64), John Zuidema (47Z), Bobby Dixon (205), Todd Neiheiser (72)
David Barwick II (89), Henry Burnside (31B), Justin Rodgers (95), Matt Bozeman (58), John Bradley (57), Randy Shields (49), Rich Livernois Jr. (71), Robert Tyler (9), David Riner (31), David Simpson (89X), Billy Barstow (B75), Jason Russell (75R), James McPeak (7). DNS – Zach Amundsen (20)
Studio Red Gladiators
DJ Taylor (00), Daniel Bowman (46), Robert Kissam (911), Dustin Wilson (42), Daniel Casey (3D), Jeff Smith (15), Michael Meeks (41), Wayne Kissam (07), Ricky Rutledge Jr. (124), Ricky Rutledge Sr. (4), Cade Cannon (500), Mark Roadarmel Jr. (81), Kever Raulerson (99R), Thomas Adam (T2), Rodney Martin (21), Jeff Lacey (14), Logan Casteel (7), Johnathan Wood (56B)